WARDSVILLE, Mo. — Blair Oaks coach Darren Heckman achieved something very few first-year head coaches experience in their rookie year: the 20-win season.
The Lady Falcons reached that milestone Monday night with a 70-21 win against the Versailles Lady Tigers in Tri-County Conference play, reaching 20 wins for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Blair Oaks wasted little time getting to that 20th win, scoring the game's first 15 points and forcing seven Versailles turnovers on the Lady Tigers' first eight possessions.
"We've gotten off to slow starts in the first quarter," Heckman said. "Sometimes you talk about it too much, but we just talked about coming out and playing hard and letting it happen.
"I think we did that. We attacked really well in the first quarter with the press and got out and ran the ball."
Monday was also Senior Night for the Lady Falcons, and a pair of seniors — Macey Stockman and Sydney Wilde — were inserted into the starting lineup for their final home game.
"I'm happy for Sydney and Macey," Heckman said. "They've really done a good job this year, they've gone through a lot in their four years here with three coaches. I appreciate their effort, their focus and their leadership."
Wilde finished with a season-high 18 points, knocking down several long-range jumpers. While she made two 3-pointers, Wilde made four more jump shots standing either on or a step in front of the 3-point line.
"I wasn't really paying attention," Wilde said. "I just grabbed it and shot it. I felt like tonight was my night."
Blair Oaks led 22-4 after one quarter and Wilde's second 3-pointer extended the lead to 31-5 midway through the second quarter.
Versailles missed its first 12 shots from the field and committed 13 of its 28 turnovers in the opening eight minutes. Carrie Hoffa scored the Lady Tigers' first basket with 1:07 remaining in the first half, and Hannah Whan followed with a 16-foot jumper to make the halftime score 36-9.
"We're a fairly long team, and we talk a lot about being active with our hands," Heckman said of his team's defense. "We want to make it hard for the other team to reverse the ball or see into the post."
Blair Oaks shot 72 percent from the field in the third quarter to extend its lead to 60-17 heading into the fourth quarter.
Brooke Boessen, who made all six shot attempts, finished with 15 points, scoring three straight baskets late in the third quarter. Wilde was also 3-of-4 from the floor in the third.
Claire Heckman reached double figures for the Lady Falcons with 14 points. Stockman grabbed a team-high five rebounds to go with her six points.
Brianna Hendrix led Versailles (1-20, 0-6 Tri-County) with 10 points.
Monday's win sets up a showdown for the Tri-County Conference championship Thursday, with Blair Oaks (20-4, 6-0 Tri-County) visiting California (19-4, 6-0). The freshman game is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., followed by the JV game at 6 p.m. and the varsity contest around 7:30 p.m.
The last time the Lady Falcons won the regular-season conference title was also in 2013-14.
"California is a very good team, and it will be a great fight," Wilde said. "If we just play like we know how and do the best we can, we can hang in there. If we come out with a win, then that makes for an even better season."
In Monday's two-quarter JV game, Blair Oaks defeated Versailles 20-8. Allison Siebeneck led the Lady Falcons with six points.